Tom on the Maver Elite 66
For this month’s epic battle, I was handed Maver’s new Elite 66. I had a waggle with this earlier in the year at Maver’s trade show, and felt then that it was one of the best poles I had ever laid my hands on, so I was dead keen to get fishing with it.
The pole comes complete with one match top three, one top four, four deluxe power kits and a cupping kit. With a mixture of carp and silvers on the cards I chose to fit No10 Slip elastic through one of the match kits with the No1 section removed.
Our arena was Shearsby Lakes near Lutterworth, a venue I had fished a couple of times before when I was a club angler; back then it was known as CJ’s.
With this being the first issue of 2011, Jon kindly agreed to wipe last year’s embarrassing slate clean.
As the weather had turned really cold the previous night I planned to make maggots my main gambit on two lines up to the island at 13 and 14.5 metres. I also planned to flirt a few micro pellets in on a separate line at 16 metres at an angle to give me somewhere to fish the pole at full length.
One of my favourite things about top-end Maver poles is the Sun Core finish, which somehow seems to provide a good grip but at the same time it flies through your hands when you want to ship in and out quickly. This was no different, and I was soon throwing the pole backwards and forwards catching chunky roach most drops-in. These weren’t doing me any favours, though, because Jon had quickly panned a large portion of carp. I was just thinking that I might need to make a change when I struck into something more substantial. I was gutted when the hook pulled at the net, but next put-in I managed to land one of about 5lb to draw level.
A true test of a pole is whether it can keep its lightness and rigidity at 16 metres and when I added another section to try my longest swim I was really impressed. There was a cold wind and conditions were far from ideal, but the pole still felt magnificent; definitely among the best I have held. It was extremely stiff and responsive on the strike and very comfortable to hold for a long period.
Ten minutes on this longer line produced another lively carp, and I must say I cringed as it headed around the island and I had to heave to pull him away. There was no need to panic, though, because the pole coped fine and a bit of pressure soon had it safely in the net. I can definitely back up Maver’s claim that this is a true all-round pole.
By now Jon was catching skimmers while I was still putting the odd roach in the net, so I decided to keep my head down with the small fish and hope another carp would come along. I was getting pretty much one a bung and really enjoying such a class piece of kit.
I took another carp with five minutes to go, which I felt would put me comfortably in front, but just when I thought I was out of the woods I could see Jon’s elastic stretching with one of his own. It was too close to call as my hard-earned bag pulled the needle around to 18lb 12oz. Jon was next and, luckily for me, he fell just short with 17lb 6oz. Yes!
I had a great day fishing with a truly class pole, worth every penny of its £2,700 price tag. Never has the saying you get what you pay for been more apt.
Jon on the MAVER Elite 66
This really is a class pole. I was surprised how slim it is, even at 16 metres, and it was still extremely comfortable to fish with at this length. It will definitely handle carp, as Tom proved, but it is just at home for speed fishing on silver-fish venues.
I spent a long time handling it at full length and even when I experimented with whipping the rig around to slap it on the surface, like many people do when shallow fishing, its rigidity and tip recovery were fantastic.
Maver Elite 66
Stated length: 16m with mini extension
Actual length: 16.53m with 96cm mini extension
Closed length: 1.8m
Match-top-two length: 1.93m
Match-top-three length: 3.16m
Match-top-four length: 4.49m
Match-top-five length: 6m
Match-top-three length with No1 removed: 2.47m
Power-kit length: 3.25m
Match-kit-elastic rating: No10
Power-kit-elastic rating: 16-20 Dual Core
Match No2 section internal tip diameter: 3mm
13m butt diameter: 47mm
14.5m butt diameter: 47mm
16m butt diameter: 47mm
Weight at 12.35m: 743g
Weight at 14.04m: 990g
Weight at 15.71m: 1,346g
Weight at 16.53m: 1,507g
Other features: Nanolith, Fusion, Magic Steps, Sun Core, Teflon joints, 12-month guarantee
Package: 16m pole, one match top three, one match top four, four deluxe power kits, mini extension, cupping kit, deluxe holdall, tubes plus a current promotional offer of an extra match top three and match top four worth £320 free of charge
Spares: 16m extension £250; deluxe power kit £69.99; Match top three £120; match top four £200; Power Zone Deluxe kit £69.99; short No4 £59.99; short power kit £54.99; power kit extension £24.99